Are you prepared for the influx of the largest population of older adults in our history? These individuals will be demanding individualized, person-centered wellness programming, novel experiences, and technological expertise. 

International Council on Active Aging is pleased to offer the following five-step plan, linked to relevant resources, to help prepare you and your organization for new opportunities in wellness, now and in the future.

STEP #1 Commit to wellness

What does wellness mean to you and your organization? The definition continues to expand and evolve. For 2020, ICAA defines it as follows:

Wellness is derived from our ability to understand, accept and act upon our capacity to lead a purpose-filled and engaged life. In doing so, we can embrace our potential – physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, vocational – to pursue and optimize life’s possibilities.

 Start the new year by committing to wellness.

STEP 2: Transition to a wellness culture

In a new report, ICAA helps you identify the important elements needed to develop a culture of wellness, and discover how active-aging organizations are effectively implementing them. The priority actions needed to benefit from wellness outcomes are detailed, and a special section on senior living highlights the progress of these organizations in transitioning to the wellness culture. Based on input from 532 survey respondents, this report is a must-read for strategic planning and a valuable adjunct to ICAA’s “Visions of the Future” Trends Survey. Published September 2019.

All reports are FREE to ICAA Organizational and ICAA 100 members. Individual members need to upgrade to an Organizational and/or ICAA 100 membership to access reports.

Non-members can purchase reports by setting up a nonmember account. Click on the Log-in button to do so. Nonmembers can also access reports by purchasing an ICAA Organizational or ICAA 100 membership.

 STEP 3: Create a blueprint for your wellness-based organization

As an industry, we’re on the brink of a watershed moment. How we move forward from here will dictate our future and that of the people and families who depend on the services we offer.

More than half (59%) of senior living community staff and managers say their business model will be wellness-based, with care, by 2023, according to ICAA’s 2018 Active-Aging Industry Trends Survey. We want that percentage to grow.

That’s why ICAA produced this blueprint, which can be downloaded free of charge. The blueprint provides a guide to help communities create the tailored blueprints they’ll need to move themselves-and the industry-forward as the wellness-based model becomes increasingly important to our businesses and society as a whole.

STEP 4: Get everyone on the same page

 Building a successful wellness culture requires every member of your organization to be on the same page. One way to bring management and staff up to speed quickly is through ICAA’s newest course, “Foundations of Wellness,” which offers comprehensive, contemporary and research-based information. The course also presents evidence-based programming examples that will foster well-being and inspire healthy living among your constituents.

Make your staff and organization merry this year by budgeting $399 for ICAA’s newest education course. And, as improved quality of life is an outcome of practicing wellness behaviors, the older adults you serve will have a happy New Year, too!

Launching in the first quarter of 2020!

E-mail [email protected] to get your name on the waiting list

STEP 5: Skill your wellness leader

Led by an international faculty and supported by current research and best practices, ICAA’s popular Leadership in Wellness Management certificate course is a blend of formal instruction and interactive discussion aimed at helping you connect with other leaders in the field of active-aging. 

The 20-week course is designed specifically for wellness staff, activity directors, human resources personnel, program managers, upper-level management and students seeking careers in aging and older adult programming, and others interested in wellness and creating a true wellness culture.

This piece originally appeared on


  • Colin Milner


    International Council on Active Aging

    Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and founder of the active-aging industry in North America. A leading authority on the health and well-being of the older adult, he has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of “the most innovative and influential minds” in the world on aging-related topics.   An award-winning writer, Milner has authored more than 300 articles. He has been published in such journals as Global Policy, and the Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. He also contributed a chapter to Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise? (World Economic Forum).   Milner’s speeches have stimulated thousands of business and government leaders, industry professionals and older adults worldwide. Whether Fortune 100 companies or governmental organizations, his efforts have inspired a broad spectrum of groups to seek his counsel, included amongst these is the World Health Organization, European Commission, White House Conference on Aging, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Administration on Aging, National Institute on Aging, Canadian Special Senate Committee on Aging, The Canadian Minister of State (Seniors), National Health Services - Scotland, OECD, Vancouver Olympics, Deloitte Life Sciences & Health Care, Ernst and Young, New Balance, Leprino Foods, and Apple, Inc.   Milner’s efforts have leading-edge publications, television networks and radio stations seeking his insights. Among these outlets are: CNN, BBC, Newsmax, US News and World Report, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Dow Jones Market Watch, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, National Post, Globe and Mail, Parade Magazine, WebMD and Fox Business Radio.